To write down all the stellar Super Nintendo games ever released, one would need a scroll as long as east to west. The system was blessed with countless classics, no doubt one reason why it was so beloved back then, and is STILL revered to this day. And while people will throw out their personal favorite recommendations, in all my years as an SNES enthusiast there is *ONE* game I have never heard anyone touting or praising. In fact, there's not even a YouTube video* of it! That's how obscure and unknown this game is. Tonight, and for *ALL*eternity, my hope is to change that. My hope is to shed some light on this charming, simple and addicting gem. May this game see the light of day yet. At the VERY least, people will know about it and many others will delight in its wacky intricacies. I first discovered this game many moons ago thanks to EGM. Issue #62, September '94... INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK. Good looking out EGM! Billed as OB Club, the screenshots stole my gaming heart. With normal and silly courses alike, it just looked like a really fun game. Two months later, EGM printed a full page preview on the game issue #64, November '94. Right there on page 100. I knew I had to get it some day. I had to play it. Many years later, when I got back into the SNES (see January 17, 2006 for more), I tracked the title down as BS Out of Bounds Golf. Sadly, it was never released. Only available in online form, it was one of those BS-X Satellaview releases -- a Super Famicom satellite modem add-on. BS Zelda is perhaps the most popular BS-X game. Sadly, once again BS Out of Bounds Golf gets overlooked. Finally, it's time to cast the spotlight on a game that has been long overdue and well deserving of such accolades. Let's take a closer look then...
MINI GOLF MADNESS
Who hasn't played a bout or two of mini golf in their life before? Shoot, mini golf is most likely one of America's most popular casual dating events. I know in my younger days I had my share of dates with miniature golf on the agenda. It's just a loose, fun environment. Man, I even remember a double date I had that involved mini golf. My girl friend wanted to date my friend but she was too shy to go out with him 1-on-1. So she convinced me to join her with her sister as my date. Her sister took a liking to me but I couldn't say the same to her. It was a very interesting evening, to say the least, heh. Anyway, mini golf I would say has definitely ingrained itself into American culture, especially for folk in their teens to 20's. I'm not a big golfer but I love mini golf. And BS Out of Bounds Golf is, essentially, mini golf. That in itself makes it notable. Now you take this unique concept and EXECUTE IT WELL, then you have more than just a noteworthy game -- you have a gem. Let's head back to September and November '94 to see EGM's take...
Fell in love with this quirky game the first time I laid eyes on it
EGM's previews had me dreaming about how fun it must be
THE BS GOLFERS [THAT'S NO BS -Ed.]
Select from 12 players. Both male and female. Even two felines! Right away you know it's not a serious game and that's all part of its immense charm. Mr. Mustache rox
It's cosmetic far as I know, but nevertheless nice to have choices
PICK YOUR THEME!
There are a grand total of six worlds, each with eight courses. Do the math and you have 48 courses -- NICE! In a time where four probably would be considered good enough, the makers went the extra mile with six. Players have the option to play either courses 1-4, 5-8, or all 8. You gotta love options. Each theme has its own unique personality in addition to difficulty. Some courses are absolutely BRUTAL. You can play alone, or against one, two or three opponents -- even adjust the handicap. I love how extremely customizable it is :)
I'VE GOT THE POWER!
The beauty of BS Golf is how simple it plays, yet still it offers enough intricacies to be deeper than it may initially appear. Before you can hit the ball, you must pick your power, ranging from 1 to 100. Next, you pick WHERE on the ball you wish to hit -- with a total of 17 (!) different points. Where you decide to strike it will determine the trajectory... good stuff! More on this later
There's nothing as satisfying as nailing a long putt shot selecting JUST the right POW amount. On the flip side, nothing as agonizing as choosing a couple POW points too high, causing the ball to jump off the lip of the hole, or a couple POW points too low, leading the ball to stop JUST centimeters in front of the cup -- D'OH!! Leads to ample opportunity for trash talkin' both ways! It's simple and effective. The "guessing" game never gets old. Hmmm, is this shot a 47 or 52? 81 or 83? 98 or 99? Oddly addicting!
SOME FUN SHOTS (PARDON THE PUN)
When played against others, BS Golf takes on a new form of life. Much of the fun lies in making life miserable for the other(s). Here you are on offense, but at the same time, you can play a lil' defense too. Check it out!
Love the mother and son duck -- it's all about the little details
My opponent is trapped! Oh the sheer beauty of it all. He probably could use one of the slick trajectory shots, but I have definitely made his life MUCH more complicated. Who knew mini golf could be so evil?
WHAT CHU GOT NOW KID! WHAT CHU GOT!
Kid plays it safe. Bwahahaha. Sorry, couldn't help the mad scientist laughter there
See the present there? Hitting it grants you a special power, such as sunny clear skies on your next stroke, or even the mighty wind blowing to stop your rival's shot way short on their next turn. Think of it like the ? items in Super Mario Kart. Good stuff that adds to the wild unpredictable fun! There are many different powers
Even if you're behind, with the right power, you can come back!
And now to complete the process -- taking it home with a Birdie shot, leaving poor Timmy behind in the dust. Gotta guess the right POW amount, factoring in the uphill slope and all too. No pressure eh? Set the POW to JUST the right number, choose the proper trajectory and BOOM -- thanks fer coming, kid! It's incredibly fun stuff, and OH SO satisfying indeed
First introduced in the vaunted pages of EGM as OB Club -- here's why! The most fun comes in the form of making your opponent OB, or Out of Bounds. Even when it's not their turn! There's nothing they can do about it too except cry, curse, moan and whine. Who says an 'innocent' game of mini golf can't be highly compelling and competitive?
D'OH! I've been cupblocked. Still, I try to brute force my way home, with less than hot results. I'm lucky those little plate barriers stopped me from OBing, and even luckier I didn't push my opponent's ball in the hole. That would suck -- and speaking of which...
Oh my, oh my. Player 2 knocks in my ball -- thanks buddy! Look at his priceless reaction on the mug shot there. I would have scored a PAR on my 3rd try, but got a Birdie instead!
My opponent tries to brute force it home as well, with even less desirable results! Better to always play it safe than to try and be a hero, kids! His reaction says it all ^_^
As stated earlier, nothing beats OBing your opponent, especially when it's done in the context of getting to the cup yourself. But wait, now that I think of it, there IS one thing that tops even this... the single greatest moment in the game comes in the form of this...
Ah, it's a 'wee' bit cloudy today but still a good day for some mini golf. I could score here well enough, even on the edge of the bunker, but wait a sec...
Puffy thunderclouds overhead paint an ominous backdrop...
... Suddenly the clouds block out the sun. As it grows dark outside, much the same on the inside...
For some reason, I'm now feeling kind of DARK...
The best moment possible in the game comes when you not only score but at the SAME time knock your foe's ball out of bounds! There's nothing that can compare to the trash talking that ensues, as well as the rush of adrenaline you feel off a perfectly well-placed and properly judged RICOCHET shot! Everything's gotta go perfect for this type of dual action shot to work -- it happens once in a blue moon which only adds to its greatness!
Two for one specials are always memorable. Here I not only get the PAR but also add a stroke to my rival's score. RADICAL!
BS Golf allows ample room for some cutthroat shenanigans!
At the end a scorecard is presented to show the results
However, as good as the 2-Player mode is, for optimum pleasure, you must engage in the FATAL FOUR WAY. Here, clusterville is not uncommon, and one must get fairly shrewd and crafty if they want to make it out on top! It is deliciously devious and entertaining!
My gaming dream is to one day play this with three friends. It's super fun even with three computer opponents, and I can only imagine how much more fun it would be playing against family and friends. Seriously, someone needs to release this game!
Player 3 was OB'ed by me a couple times here and there... ~_^
There's even a little celebration scene at the end. Reminds me of Ryu's ending from Street Fighter II a bit, heh, except my dude DOES want the glory!
He's also not above rubbing it in little boys' faces [Easy bud -Ed.]
IT'S ALL ABOUT TRAJECTORY
If you recall earlier, there are 17 points on the ball to select from. Here's yet another reason why this game rules. Let me show you how to score FOUR DIFFERENT ways in the same position on the golf course. Check out how crazy versatile this game is. On the surface it looks very simple but you'll soon discover there's a lot more hidden beneath...
First, we have the straight dead-center shot
Select the right POW, and you're good. A simple straight-away shot. Nothing fancy, but it works. The dead-center shot is probably what you'll feel most comfortable using, like me
However, for those times where you feel bold and daring, you can curve the trajectory of your shot left or right. Ch-ch-check it out
I'm in a RIGHT frame of mind...
The ball curves right and finds its way into the hole! Definitely a fancy 'show off' shot
Not one to discriminate against the left, let's go to the left, shall we?
To the left to the left [YOU MUST NOT KNOW BOUT ME -Ed.]
Nice, isn't it? So we have dead-center, right and left -- three different ways to score from the same position on the golf course. I did say I'd give you FOUR though, right? What's the fourth one, you ask? Ask, and you shall receive. Let's see what's behind door # four
"WHAT THE -- !!" now notice my trajectory. This shot can ONLY be made when it's one above dead-center. See how precise and deceptively intricate BS Golf is? Bloody ace!
You can use the bumpers to your advantage! It's simply brilliant
Now that's what we call a super advance shot. It's totally for show, though. If you can pull these funky 'trick shots' off, you are TRULY a KING (or queen). So you see, same position on the golf course, but you just saw FOUR different ways to score. Such is the versatility of this game and how endless your choices are. With 17 points to choose from, odds are you'll never play the same game twice. Add in the wacky competitiveness of three rivals and what you have here is a multi-player blast for the ages, and for all ages from 8 to 80!
And don't dare think for a second that these slick trajectory shots are just for show. Sometimes, as seen here, they are a MUST. You can't always use the dead-center shot if you want to excel -- you must also master all other type of shots and know when to use which one
You better become a trajectory ninja if you wanna win in BS Golf
And yes, it does rain! Once in a while there's even a lightning show. Not only does it enhance the atmosphere of the game but it changes how you play as well -- be sure to note and factor in the wind as well as the direction it's blowing in. Mother Nature!
BS Golf's a fun title to play anytime, especially on a stormy night
WAR OF THE WORLDS
Let's check out the five other worlds you can play in. The second world is a combination of breakfast items and books. You've been shrunk! Look, just go along with it. There are many more obstacles here than that of the first world, such as tomatoes, rulers and even gigantic cereal boxes. Arrows also move your fragile ball in specific directions. Things can get pretty tough in a hurry...
KING OF KONG, baby! YAY Steve Wiebe, BOO Billy Mitchell ;-)
World 3 has an Aztec or Mayan theme. Here, the obstacles are moving so it recreates rather well those mini golf courses that have those blasted windmills
Better have a good grasp on your trajectory shots here
World 4 is sort of a toy theme. Those buggers there remind me of the old KB Toys logo. Like in World 2, here you will find arrows and jumpers
Those guys really do NEVER smile, do they? Lighten up Francis!
World 5 is a beach theme. It's a nice pleasant visual change from Worlds 3 and 4. It's home to some funky courses that are tougher than a two dollar steak
No mate -- the other way, man!
Remember playing Marble Madness back in the day on the good ol' 8-bit NES? It was 1 of the games my brother and I owned back in the late '80s. The sweet visuals and tunes of that game are still ingrained in my heart 20+ years later
Take a look for yourself and see!
World 6, taking place in outer space, is not only visually striking but also absolute balls hard. This will surely separate the boys from the men. It's unforgiving as a hurricane, and will humble even the best players. Good luck!
From being shrunk to traveling to outer space -- hey, why not??
"GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMN WHIPPERSNAPPER!"
[OK, no more watching bad movies for you, Mister -Ed.]
Apparently, bumpers have feelings, too
HEY -- YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! [You're SO cheesy... -Ed.]
HOT SHOTS GOLF
Not the PS1 game, which I like. Oddly, there is Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds but I digress. The Eagle is the second best possible shot in the game of golf. It's pretty rare though. But the best shot in the game is, of course, the...
Awww at the kitty. I like the bird flying around there -- nice touch
I think the Hole In One is only possible on the very first course of the very first world. That's the only time I've been able to one-shot it. The others seem rather impossible, me thinks...
C'mon, admit it, ya at least smiled, right? Right? Er, moving on
Another sign that points to the greatness of this game are the randomly generated points of the cup. Here you see the same course, but with TWO different destinations! That way, players can't "master" one course and repeat the SAME OLD PONY TRICKS over and over, thus killing the longevity of the game. With randomized cups, you will truly never play the same course twice. 48 courses, each with several different random cup generators... means you really have over200! different possibilities and must constantly (re)adjust. Plus -- don't forget the EVER changing wind either, or the 17 different hit points, or shot power ranging from 1 to 100. You know a game HAS THE GOODS when ya can't stop singing its praises!
NO BS OUT OF BOUNDS GOLF IS SERIOUS BS!
When I got back in the SNES scene I hunted down all the games I ever wanted to play and own but never could as a youth back in the '90s. I went on a serious rampage which included the import Super Famicom scene. I tried to track down a copy of BS Golf... but it wasn't long before I discovered, much to my horror, that it was never released. It was the one game I wanted the most that never saw the light of day *sigh*
Some of my SFC scores from JapanGameStock.com back in 2006
When I later learned more about the repro scene, I sought out these good folks but none of them could convert BS Golf to cartridge form -- it was beyond their programming skills. I was now 0 for 2
Repro scene has allowed gamers to experience new SNES thrills
Finally, my last bastion of hope as it were -- the SNES PowerPak. I was so excited loading up BS Golf on my dear SNES. I thought to myself... here it is. For the first time ever, I will be able to experience this excellent game on an actual TV on my actual Super Nintendo. Sadly, it doesn't work. 0 for 3 now, for those scoring at home
UPDATE: Nevermind, BS Golf now works on the PowerPak! ^_^
UPDATE: Thanks to Kiddo of DigitPress fame, BS Out of Bounds Golf (AKA BS Golf Daisuki! O.B. Club) has been patched to work with the SNES POWERPAK! Please see page 1 of this DP thread for more info. Also, see page 2 for further gameplay discussion, from different game modes to icon usage and even short cuts! The brilliance of this game never ceases. ENJOY! :)
Here's what EGM had to say about it back in issue #64 (November 1994): OB Club is a cool, new golf game by Masaya of Japan. Unlike bland, old, usual golf simulations, this one goes for the fun approach. Choose your player and the course. There are all kinds of courses to play on, such as ancient ruins, a land of toys, or even in outer space! OB Club forces you to use a lot of strategy. Getting a hole in one is almost impossible! Another new feature is the ability to have four players hacking it out at once. With different hazards on each course, you're sure to have a wild time. If you want a sports game that's really a great time, try OB Club
THE GOOD: Unlike most golf sims, this one isn't boring. It's a lot like miniature golf with lots of fun courses
THE BAD: Most of the golf games that are released in America lack personality
THE UGLY: What could possibly be nasty in a golf game? I can't think of a darn thing
EGM got it right with THE GOOD and THE BAD. Sadly, add to THE BAD the fact that this game never got released in the US after all, or anywhere else 'tangible' for that matter. And THE UGLY is... it very well could remain that way for all eternity -- UNLESS someone steps up to the plate...
Y'know, there are some video games you see in magazine previews and dream 'bout, but when you finally get around to play it you find yourself sorely disappointed. BS Out of Bounds Golf not only lived up to my expectations, but in many ways even surpassed them. It is so simple that anyone can play it and have a good time, yet it's deceptively intricate where you could play it a thousand times and still haven't mastered it completely. It all speaks to the game's longevity, including the 17 different strike points, 48 courses, randomly generated cups, 12 player choices and 1-4 player mode. It's mini golf done right! Where else can you stand next to a gargantuan cereal box featuring Coco Krispies, I mean, Big Kongs Crunch, and the next minute be teeing off along the Milky Way? There's only one! BUT WILL IT EVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY? HOPEFULLY SO...
The graphics are easily the weakest part of the game, but still, they are serviceable. The sound suits the game just right. Much like Bomberman, it is the pure gameplay that delivers. You'll never play the same game TWICE. OBing your opponent is as sweet as it gets, and your own individual battles with judging the trajectory and POW system is utterly gratifying. This is one of those rare games I can play for 10 minutes each night before going to bed, and never get tired of. The only real 'negative' thing I have to assert about this game is the fact that, as of right now, it's not available in any sort of "real" manner. Hopefully someday... somehow... this will all change. The game's ingenuity is CLASS, its accessibility brilliant, and its charm endless. If you've never played this game before, and odds are, you haven't prior to reading this, I dare you to spend some time with it and see if you don't like it yourself. Of course, everyone's mileage will vary, and you might not be as nuts about it as I am, but I doubt many will walk away thinking it's a bad game. Hopefully now, BS Out of Bounds Golf will no longer be obscure and left hidden in the shadows. May it instead shine brightly as one of the best multi-player games on the SNES. And, if the retro gaming community is so lucky, may this game one day grace us in all its glory
Sadly unknown and unreleased, BS Out of Bounds Golf is slightly bizarre and twisted, highly competitive and addicting, and one of the best multi-player SNES games around. One can only hope that one day it shall see the light of day. The best kept secret on SNES!
"Hey mate! Cheers for the top score, pal!"
You earned it! Thanks NCS for an awesome and unique game!
I don't hand out too many 10 scores... then again, not too many games are as fun and charming as this one is. Scenes like this only point to the sheer brilliance of the game! ^_^
It ain't bullsh*t pal, it's BS OUT OF BOUNDS GOLF, and it's ACE!
* No YouTube vid of this game -- UNTIL NOW! Be sure to read my notes throughout the video ;-)